A bad day for James Cook U

The High Court will hear scientist Peter Ridd’s claim that he was wrongly dismissed by James Cook U for criticising climate change research at the university

Dr Ridd first won his case in the Federal Court, but the university was upheld there on appeal.

Whatever happens now, JCU has already lost in the court of public opinion. The High Court may find the university was within its rights to sack him under the terms of his employment. But Dr Ridd says he was standing up for science and had the right to speak out. Plenty of people support him, the Go Fund Me page dedicated to his legal costs had $735 000 last night.

Others who don’t agree with him on the science think he should not have been sacked. As National Tertiary Education Union official, Michael McNally put it in 2018, “the NTEU is obliged to reassert its commitment to academic freedom, even or especially where its expression contains statements that may be at odds with many or most members’ views. Without the maintenance of the core value of academic freedom, our universities would cease to be worthy of the name.”